MAC Returns to Joburg Fashion Week with Beauty Wisdom

MAC Returns to Joburg Fashion Week with Beauty Wisdom

Ranji Mangcu

In just under a week, Joburg Fashion Week will make its annual return. Like last year, and the year before that, MAC Cosmetics will be right there with the brand, honouring the design talent of the continent by producing striking make-up looks for the runway.

AFI had a conversation with the experts at MAC Cosmetics on the growing trends and shifting philosophies in the beauty sphere, touching on beauty’s intersection with fashion, culture and skincare in the diverse and experimental territory of fashion in Johannesburg. They shared some essential wisdom on what make-up trends you as an audience member can experiment with in your Fashion Week looks.

Throughout Joburg, fashion ranges from high-end luxury in Sandton to the experimental street style of Braamfontein and Melville. How does make-up play a role in this diverse fashion culture?

Make-up always goes with individuality and personal style. People tend to do their make-up in a way that goes with their lifestyle and interests. High-end luxury is mostly classic beauty and the edgy individuals are more pop-culture and trend-focused.

MAC was present at last year's Joburg Fashion Week. Can you tell us about any make-up trends that have evolved since then, like the shift away from the "snatched" look?

The trends in make-up have shifted to an everyday glow. We are seeing less make-up with a hyper-glow finish. We are also seeing a shift from snatched beauty to more skin trends and “No-Make-up-Make-up” looks. In the fashion industry and runway, we are seeing Siren Skin and Grunge Glam gaining popularity. Down-turned eyeliner has also become a fast-growing trend. Think about editorial and grunge make-up, adapted into “Beauty” looks.


Runways at major fashion weeks this year featured minimalistic make-up styles, like slicked-back hair and nude faces. Do you think these trends will also influence African runways, considering the uniqueness of African fashion weeks?

South Africa is influenced a lot by global trends. We will therefore be seeing a lot of those global trends show up on the runway, but adapted to cater for our diverse continent. The collaboration of designers and make-up artists is what brings the trends to life.

What impact can a softer make-up look have for audience members exploring their Joburg Fashion Week looks?

People are looking for skin-like make-up to celebrate natural beauty. The impact is that we are catering to today’s need for make-up that enhances your features, instead of covering and changing your face. 


Can you recommend MAC's lightweight foundations, blushes, and eyeshadow palettes for those who want to make a subtle statement at JFW instead of going for bold glamour?

Studio Radiance Serum powered foundation + 170s brush, Sun struck bronzing powder + 143s brush, Glow play blush + 168s brush and connect in colour eyeshadow pallets with 239s, 227s, and 224 brushes.

Given the post-pandemic changes in people’s philosophies around make-up, there's a renewed focus on skin health. What skin trends do you expect to see at Joburg Fashion Week?

I am expecting to see “everyday glow”, “backlighting” and “steamy skin” looks. These are all connected to the “Hyper-Glow” trend. Great make-up begins with good skin. Our new Hit formula of foundations for the Runway is 80% skin care, which speaks to the changing philosophies.


Many make-up brands are becoming increasingly transparent about their products’ ingredients. Why is it important for people to understand how make-up affects their skin?

Everybody wants to know what’s in it for them – why they should choose your brand and spend their money on it. The transparency is important because everyone should know what they are applying on their faces and why they are applying it  At MAC, we have technology and science powered products that really helps the skin look its best.


Skin-tone inclusivity in beauty was once a global conversation. As we prepare for a quintessentially African fashion week in Johannesburg, what products and techniques will MAC use to support AFI's skin-tone-inclusive casting at Joburg Fashion Week?

MAC has always been inclusive. In our constant innovation, we recently launched the Studio Radiance Serum Powered Foundation with 56 inclusive shades. Additionally, the Sun Struck bronzer ranges from the lightest colour to the deepest colour with different finishes. This will tie in beautifully with AFI’s inclusive casting.


What excites MAC Cosmetics the most about Joburg Fashion Week and Africa's fashion industry?

MAC cosmetics pioneers make-up trends and innovations that are born backstage. This is the time for us to collaborate with the same goal in mind – changing the fashion and artistry landscape in Africa. This is the opportunity to showcase the talent that lives within our diverse continent – “All ages, All races, All Genders”.  

MAC Cosmetics is the official Make-Up Partner for Joburg Fashion Week. Join us at Joburg Fashion Week from 9-11 November 2023.

Tickets are available here. 

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